Banff National Park
July 20 - 25, 2019
(6 days, 5 nights; Sat - Thu)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Calgary and Lake Louise prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Calgary International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:30 am
In so many ways, Lake Louise symbolizes the magic of the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise is, at the very least, the portal through which we enter a true alpine fantasyland containing the backdrop of Victoria Glacier, the towering Temple Mountain and its glacial cap, the proximity of stunning Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. And so, Lake Louise was the obvious choice as the focal point for a Canadian Rocky Mountain hiking trip.
We’ll arrive in Lake Louise early-afternoon of Day 1 (we’ll provide a van shuttle from the Calgary airport early-morning) in time to hike leisurely along and above the lake to Lake to Agnes Tea House before dinner.
We travel further north on Day 2 to reach Bow Lake along the Icefields Parkway. Our trail ascends along Helen Creek to Helen Lake tucked well into the mountain range. The valley abounds with alpine wildlife and offers grand vistas. From here we can extend the hike up to Dolomite Pass to get even better views of Dolomite Peak, a picture perfect layer-cake mountain, as well as the wine-colored folds below the summit of Cirque Peak.
On Day 3, we’ll shuttle the short distance to Moraine Lake and trek through the flowering meadows of beautiful Larch Valley, surrounded by the spectacular spires of the Ten Peaks that hover above the valley, to the awesome switchbacks leading to majestic Sentinel Pass. The views from Sentinel’s summit are incredible; the expanse of the awesome Paradise Valley unfolds before us to the north while the snowclad summits of the Ten Peaks fills the southern horizon. We’ll return to Larch Valley for a visit to nearby Eiffel Lake along a trail that perhaps offers the most spectacular views of Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks (12 miles). Tonight we will stay at Storm Mountain Lodge in their elegant and historic cabins. Although the cabins are just off the Banff-Windemere Highway, the resort was built before the road as is completely off the grid and self sufficient.
Our hike on Day 4 starts just minutes from our beautiful Storm Mtn Lodge at the Vista Lake Trailhead. From the summit of Vermillion Pass near the Continental Divide we descend immediately to Vista Lake. As you may have guessed, we’ll then climb to beautiful Arnica Lake, whose shores are ablaze with the abundant blooms for which the lake is named. Our trail leads to the picturesque Twin Lakes for a perfect lunch spot. We then continue to descend along Twin Lakes Trail back to the waiting van near the Trans Canada highway.
Day 5 a treat awaits us for we will explore the Sunshine Village area, including a ski lift ride up above tree line. From there we have many hiking options including exploring the many glacial lakes and ascending to Simpson Pass. This is the dividing line between Alberta and British Columbia Provinces, as well as the edge of Banff National Park. Stunning views open up to us in all directions of this vast mountain range.
On our final Day 6, we will explore Johnston Canyon and hike along the falls that tumble through this narrow chasm. We’ll leave the crowds behind as we continue on a lightly traveled trail, continuing up and over a forested ridge. We emerge in an open meadow at the Ink Pots where warm water bubbles up from deep below the Earth’s surface into shallow pools. Our hiking tour ends with a stop in Banff for a last opportunity to soak in the vistas and atmosphere of the great Canadian Rockies.
|Day 1||Group assembles in Lake Louise, hike to Lake Agnes Tea House||3|
|Day 2||Lake Helen and Dolomite Pass||7.5 - 11|
|Day 3||Moraine Lake - Larch Valley - Sentinel Pass - Eiffel Lake||10|
|Day 4||Arnica Lake - Twin Lakes||9|
|Day 5||Sunshine Village to Simpson Pass||7|
|Day 6||Johnson Canyon to Ink Pots||4|
Total Distance: 44 miles
- Mountaineer Lodge
- Storm Mountain Lodge